"Making Flippy Floppy (Stop Making Sense Version)" as written by and David/weymouth Byrne....
Nothing can come between us
Nothing gets you down
Nothing strikes your fancy
Nothing turns you on
Somebody is waiting in the hallway
Somebody is falling down the stairs
Set someone free, break someone's heart
Stand up help us out

Ev'rything is divided
Nothing is complete
Ev'rything looks impressive
Do not be deceived
You don't have to wait for more instructions
No one makes a monkey out of me
We lie on our backs, feet in the air
Rest and relaxation, rocket to my brain

Snap into position
Bounce till you ache
Step out of line
And you end up in jail
Bring me a doctor
I have a hole in my head
But they are just people
And I'm not afraid
Doctor Doctor
We have nothing in our pockets
We continue
But we have nothing left to offer
Faces pressed against the window
Hey! they are just my friends
Check this out don't be slick
Break our backs it goes like this . . .

We are born without eyesight
We are born without sin
And our mama protects us
From the cold and the rain
We're in no hurry
sugar and spice
We sing in the darkness
We open our eyes (open up)

I can't believe it
And people are strange
Our president's crazy
Did you hear what he said
Business and pleasure
Lie right to your face
Divide it in sections
And then give it away

There are no big secrets
Don't believe what you read
We have great big bodies
We got great big heads
Run-a-run-a-run it all together
Check it out - still don't make no sense
Makin' flippy floppy
Tryin to do my best
Lock the door
We kill the beast
Kill it!


Lyrics submitted by gony01

"Making Flippy Floppy" as written by Christopher Frantz Chris Frantz

Lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.

Lyrics powered by LyricFind

Making Flippy Floppy (Stop Making Sense Version) song meanings
Add your thoughts

8 Comments

sort form View by:
  • +1
    General CommentTo me, this song seems to me to be a "if life gives you lemons, make lemonade" type thing.

    "Makin' flippy floppy,
    trying to do my best."

    Sums it up. Making flippy into floppy.
    Petary791on December 19, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentNo no, foreverdrone, the song does have a meaning. After months of analyzing it, by breaking it down and looking at the figurative language used by Byrne and the notable transitions in this song, I have come to a general conclusion about what the song means. Keep in mind that Byrne's writing is highly metaphorical, scientific, technical, and often tells a story. In short, this song is about a baby being born and growing up. Then, after being exposed to a strange and screwed up reality, tries to make sense of it all, eventually discovering that life as an adult makes as little sense as it did in the womb.

    The first verse is about a baby in his mother's womb. "Nothing can come between us" seems to point to the umbilical cord shared by the baby and mom. "You don't have to wait for more instructions, no one makes a monkey out of me" appears to be a reference to evolution and cell replication. The instructions to make a human are in the chromosomes, so there is no need to wait for more direction. The "no making a monkey" line points to a human being made. "we lie on our backs, feet in the air/ rest and relaxation, rocket to my brain". This is one of the lines that really made it clear to me that Byrne is referring to a fetus. A baby in the womb is in full relaxation mode, with its feet in the air, lying on its back.

    The second verse is still a little fuzzy to me. "Snap into postion, bounce til you ache" sounds like the baby is "in position" to be born and causing the woman contractual pains. I'm not sure about the ending up in jail line though. Maybe someone can help me with that.

    In the third verse, the baby is born. The verse starts out with the words "Doctor, doctor" because that is the first thing the baby sees when he is born. "We have nothing left to offer" means that the baby is born so the relationship between the doctor and pregnant woman is effectively over. "Faces pressed against the window, hey, they are just my friends". What does a baby see when first born in the hopital? A bunch of faces looking at it in the window.

    The fourth verse is obviously about how we are born into the world blind to its ways. Everything is "sugar and spice "in the early years, before reality sets in. One of the most important lines in the song is the final one of the fourth verse, when Byrne says "We sleep in the darkness, and we open our eyes". Note, how after the phrase "open our eyes" there is a musical transition. There is a long synth interlude after the word eyes and if you can understand the song as a whole, then this interlude makes perfect sense, and, in fact, marks the most important transition in the song. What I see in my head is a youth waking up to reality, looking around and seeing the world for what it really is, or at least what reality seems to be.

    In the fifth verse the now adult young man (or woman)is describing his messed up reality. He can't believe what he sees: how strange people are, how crazy the president is, and how people will lie right to your face.

    In the final verse the young man gives some opinions about the world he has just started to understand: there are no big secrets, don't believe what you read, how full of ourselves we are. And finally, he conclude that after putting it all together, it still doesn't make sense. All he can do is Make Flippy Floppy, or that is, try to make sense of the strange reality surrounding him.

    The final line is still a question mark for me. Does kill the beast, perhaps mean to kill logic and reason? Maybe it means the young man has killed his curiousity and has accepted the world for what it is? I don't know.
    Inmotion12on February 11, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentWow...there is a dearth of commentary on this song...what a shame.

    This is such a scary song on so many levels...the ever-pervasive government that keeps you in line...keepin flippy floppy to me means that your position has to flip-flop to be in harmony with the powers that be.
    How about that last line...kill the beast. Is that a reference to the Reagan era "starve the beast" economic policy? "Our president's crazy...did you hear what he said?"
    humancorporationon May 02, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentReally positive song... To me, it's about hold on life, never be negative.
    FoRevEr_SPooNeron November 05, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI totally thought this song was about sex when read the title and the "bounce till you ache" part, but after listening to it a few times, I generally agree with humancorporation.

    This song is about the crappiness of modern life, going to work every day and having to obey the government to get by. Making Flippy Floppy is doing your daily duty to your government and workplace, and you have no choice: step out of line and you end up in jail. The song also talks about how when we are children we are good and we think the world is great, but when adulthood hits all of a sudden you realize you're in this crappy world you've been sheltered from all along.
    kirkammonon January 05, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentDavid Byrne created a lot of the lyrics for the songs on Speaking in Tongues by writing down commonly-spoken phrases on little slips of paper then rearranging them randomly. As a starting point, anyway.

    Some of the songs--"I Get Wild/Wild Gravity", "Moon Rocks", "Girlfriend Is Better", and "Naive Melody (This Must Be the Place)" seem clear enough...the latter two being something of a stunning 360 from the man who once wrote, "I believe someday we'll live in a world without love" and meant it hopefully ("I'm Not In Love", from More Songs...) I wonder how much of Byrne's weirdness was heartfelt, and how much was driven by having learned in art school it's more important to be original than to have something to say.

    This one seems just random. I like it though.

    Longer versions were created of about half of the songs on Speaking In Tongues. Originally the long versions appeared only on limited 12-inch singles, and the songs were cut so that the LP wouldn't drag on too long...or maybe because 33 1/3 vinyl longer than about 40 minutes starts to sound bad (not enough room for the grooves).

    But the box set--the one with all the studio recordings--substitutes the long versions. Not as extra tracks...the short ones are gone! So if you fondly remember the original versions, don't get rid of your old CD of Speaking In Tongues if you should happen to buy the box set. "Making Flippy Floppy" is the only one I think is better (maybe) in its longer version.
    foreverdroneon June 19, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthat's a pretty complex commentary, inmotionxii
    but i think the song is simpler than that - and i believe it even adovates avoiding such in-depth investigations for meaning....

    like the song is about life in general... not a specific baby and certain experiences, but about common random observations about what it means to be human.
    i mean, when you think about it, isn't human life ridiculous on a whole lot of levels that just happen to be pointed out here? And there are lots of reasons to be down about it, but we just get over it and move on.
    Like, the character (your) starts off sort of unmotivated, but gets some good advice about life:
    life doesn't make sense... so stop making sense.
    cerberusalphaon April 20, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song is about a child, an adolescent losing their innocence and coming to grips with adult life generally and, more specifically, with biological, instinct-driven sex drive.

    Making Flippy Floppy means the physical act of sexual intercourse. "Snap into position, Bounce 'til you ache." Blocking out the horror of trying to acclimate to adult human living by requiting/indulging in a basic instinctual/animal urge: "Making flippy floppy, Trying to do my best, Lock the door, We kill the beast, kill it!" Followed by humping music...

    The tension between being an animal with instinctual drives and being human with rational thoughts and emotions is a recurring Byrne theme.
    Robisanon August 20, 2010   Link

Add your thoughts

Log in now to tell us what you think this song means.

Don’t have an account? Create an account with SongMeanings to post comments, submit lyrics, and more. It’s super easy, we promise!

Back to top
explain